It’s almost Thanksgiving, and soon my church in New York City will be serving turkey with all the trimmings to over 400 people. Members of the congregation will donate money, arrange flowers and bake pies. Eight extended families with old ties to our church will drive in from New Jersey, don aprons and fire up the ovens. A line of customers will form at nine in the morning; at 11 the pastor will say a blessing over the meal. Visitors will sit at tables adorned with fresh flowers or wait in the take-out line, a well-loved feature. Children of all sizes will dish up green beans and gravy and circulate with trays of sweets.
Ten homeless youth who sleep in our shelter year-round will be temporarily moved into the sanctuary, but a donation of $200 has helped make the displacement more tolerable. They’ll start the day with breakfast at the Metro Diner, then go to the movies. Thanksgiving night a volunteer will arrive two hours early so the youth can come in from the cold.